Personal communications have come a long way since the birth of smoke signals and pigeon post, but the core value has remained the same – human connection. Fast forward a few thousand years and human connection has become so easily available through social media channels, it’s almost impossible to go a couple of hours without craving a new blog, tweet or post.
The birth of tech-savvy social scavengers and the threads they follow is music to the ears of content marketers, as this collaboration provides them with the perfect platform to deliver their content.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are like the modern-day water cooler – a place for people to gather and gossip. Information is shared and people feel connected. It’s this connection that content marketers can exploit by producing content for social media that people care about and will actually look for.
The social media challenge
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Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account and generating a few likes and followers is one thing; creating a comprehensive social media strategy is quite another. Before embarking on a social media mission, content marketers should decide exactly what they want to achieve from each social page – whether that’s build traffic, increase visibility or increase brand value – and how they’re going to achieve this.
According to a recent Forbes article, it can take a mid-size company at least 32 hours a month to successfully manage one social media campaign. Where does this leave companies with several fading social profiles under their belt? In desperate need of improved brand value I’d say.
Creating brand value
Creating a unique brand reputation can’t be achieved by mimicking what other brands are doing. Christopher Szczepaniak, Chief Content Officer at Stratego House, believes that in order for content marketers to move beyond the memes of social media, they need to use more sophisticated social and content marketing tactics, such as podcasts, infographics, eBooks, videos and animations.
In addition, content marketers need to provide information that people can use, to the point where they will start to crave more. Social media scavengers have moved past the ‘look at me’ phase and are more focused on what you can offer them.
Less might not be more
Socially optimised businesses are far more in tune with the needs of their audience than those that aren’t, but just how optimised do you need to be? Having several social media channels for one brand is now standard practice. Remember, there’s more to social media than just Facebook, and different channels suit different brands and objectives.
Enter the community manager
Much the same as journalists are now integral to a company’s editorial strategy, community managers are a highly sought after member of the content marketing/social media package. 2013 is the year for companies to move past the social media intern who fiddles around on Facebook, and allow an experienced community manager to take the reins on social media.